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Devon + Cornwall see + do

Cornwall's Gulf Stream–warmed microclimate makes its beaches quite feasible as summer vacation destinations, and these waters, as well as Devon's, are good for surfing too. But beyond the beach, Cornwall's rugged coastline and leafy north Devon's thatched-roof villages, Georgian towns, and remote harbors are definitely worth a look. There's hiking, horse riding, and cycling in the moorlands, fishing and yachting in the rivers and estuaries, and subtropical gardens and castles all over. This area has always drawn artists, and the thriving arts scene continues, especially with the St. Ives painters of Cornwall and the Tate Gallery.

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Tate Gallery, St. Ives, Cornwall

The London contemporary arts institution opened an outpost in Cornwall in 1993. It aims to offer an introduction to modern art with creative display of the...more

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Surfing

You'll catch some excellent waves on the north coast of Cornwall and (less so) Devon. Good surfing beaches run south–west from Harlyn down past Newquay...more

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Stately Homes + Castles

You can't turn a corner in Devon and Cornwall without bumping into an ancient castle or grand stately home. Some have huge historical significance, while others...more

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South West Coast Path

A cliff-top path with hair-raising views runs 630 miles around the sometimes wild and rugged, sometimes rolling and gentle, southwest coast of Britain from...more

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National Seal Sanctuary, Gweek, Cornwall

Set on 42 acres on the picturesque Helford estuary, the Marine Animal Rescue Centre is the most important of its kind in Europe. See the injured wild animals...more

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National Parks

Devon's two national parks both have native wild ponies and granite outcrops called "tors," and are excellent places for horse riding, hiking, and cycling....more

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National Maritime Museum Cornwall, Falmouth, Cornwall

Devoted to all things maritime, the NMM gives context to Cornwall's boating and fishing heritage. Don't dismiss it, even if seafaring lore isn't your thing; the...more

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Minack Theatre, Penzance, Cornwall

It's unlikely you've ever experienced a theater quite like this one. Situated 200 feet above the sea, these 750 open-air seats were carved out of a cliff edge...more

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Literary Devon + Cornwall

Soft light and dramatic landscapes have long drawn artists to Devon and Cornwall, but these counties have a strong literary heritage, too. A number of English...more

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Gardens, Cornwall

The subtropical Trevarno Gardens are at the center of a 750-acre estate that dates to 1246—grounds that also encompass a lake with a Victorian boathouse,...more

Editors' Pick
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Information may have changed since date of publication. Please confirm details with individual establishments before planning your trip.

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